Hey y’all! Hope you are doin’ well!
So recently, I just beat Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. It was truly an experience unlike any other. Though going into such a interesting game, I had a certain interest in one of it’s many chapters.
Meet Chapter 2-E: Elincia’s Gambit. A widely popular chapter in the broad FE Community. Up there with Conquest Chapter 10, FE6 Chapter 11A. Even the Manster Arc if that counts!
So, regarding such a chapter (Elincia’s Gambit), what do you think about it? From a narrative perspective? A gameplay perspective? A design perspective? Whatever you’ve got!
Alright, see ya!
Professor bopper did a whole video analysing this chapter that I think explains its strengths and flaws well: Fire Emblem Breakdown: Elincia's Gambit Map Analysis - YouTube
Even though Part 2 is just filler, I love it to bits.
I’m not the biggest fan of having to play through it on every playthrough, but the 2-E is very good from a narrative standpoint.
I love how every character has something to say before the battle starts (wish the Dawn Brigade had gotten the same treatment through info conversations back in 1-E😞), and the stakes are very high. Don’t even get me started on what happens after the battle!
As for the gameplay, I also like it very much. During my last playthrough I had gotten such a good mastery of this game that I ended the chapter by beating Ludveck, stealing the Dracoshield, and leaving only 5 enemies standing on the bottom left. It’s an excellent chapter, in my opinion.
Gameplay-wise it’s the second best endgame right behind 3-E.
It’s the last chapter before Lehran’s Medallion comes back into play, the last Tellius chapter that doesn’t have the potential to awaken Yune and Ashera, and I really think they went out with a bang.
I mostly like Elincia’s Gambit for narrative reasons. RD Elincia is one of my favorite Fire Emblem characters, and I think it’s a shame how she mostly fades into the background toward the end of the game. From a purely gameplay perspective, I’m not really a fan of how often RD throws the player into a battle that’s bigger than the number of units the player can control and pads out the allied ranks with Yellow Units. It’s not that fun to have to rely on them to hold a point or heal the unit the player wants them to heal. I’d rather play a chapter built for my units than one that partly plays itself for the sake of making the battle appear larger in scope.
FE10 is my favorite FE, and part 2 (+ Marauders) is my favorite part of it even if it’s really filler.
From a narrative perspective, it’s a cool moment since it’s the culmination of all the plotting that’s been going on since the start of part 2, with the much waited showdown with Ludveck (who, despite being a minor character, has enough scenes and behind-the-scenes to get good characterization in my opinion).
From a gameplay perspective, big battles are something I enjoy. My opinion is pretty much the opposite of the above poster, I really like when there are NPCs in maps. I’d certainly rather have them than turning the chapter into a smaller scale fight, or having to control 20 blue units. Not having direct control over all of the allied units adds a layer of caution that the player has to take since things are less predictable, and if you don’t like that, the game gives you the option of giving orders to them if you want to play it
A common thing that I’ve seen detractors say is that it can be cheesed with Haar, but I don’t really see how that’s supposed to be a negative thing. It’s a valid strategy that the game enables the player to do if they want to tackle the chapter that way, so if anything I’d consider it positive. If Haar were an NPC and often went to one-shot Ludveck, preventing you from fully playing the chapter, then that’d be an actual design flaw.
So you have NPC allies, ledges, flyers, choke-points, siege tomes, player reinforcements, making a defense chapter that I enjoy how it plays out. With the FE10 randomizer, I had even more reason to go back and replay the game and wait in anticipation until I reached it and other fun chapters.
Guess I should give my opinon too!
First off, like what Permafrost said, not cool how the writers decided to write Elincia off past…really part 2. It’s a shame because she really got me invested into her struggles of being the newly crowned queen of Crimea. And how she had to face the disagreements of the senators while having a newly formed rebellion to cope with. It really is where IMO, FE10’s story really peaked. And the twist at the end with Ludveck and Lucia really caught me off-guard (and made him a favorite FE villain for me). But back to the subject.
When I played it, I thought it was good enough, it served it’s purpose. Design was decent, using the Crimean Knights never got old to me, and, as much fun as it sounded, I DIDN’T blast my way to Ludveck with Haar. Just was appealing!
Honestly, I think chapter 3-13 was a much better chapter in terms of design, and enemy makeup. And using the Dawn Brigade against the Greil Mercenaries was honestly quite exhilarating to me.
Plus giving Tauroneo Beastfoe and smashing through all of the beast Laguz was one of highlights of my entire playthrough…
It’s biggest issue is that not only is it skippable by throwing Haar with a hammer at the boss.
Its that the whole thing is skippable and any side objective reward is basically worthless outside of the context of the CRKs in part 3 which have 1 more map, and all of whom are down right abysmal vs Greil Mercs who hardly need any more boosters.
Like the availability / rewards for playing it straight never come up unless you’re really trying to power level Nephenee or Brom (based tbh)
Narratively idk what else to say, its a major highlight of RD for sure. Elincia great.
As a map though it will forever be a zzz tier experience as it stands in vanilla with how broken ledges are + how you can bonk Ludveck
I think it’s one of the best chapters in the series. From a story standpoint it leads into one of the coolest moments in the series with the Greil mercs showing up, and it sets up the conclusion of Elincia’s arc really well in part 3, which is one of the highlights of RD for me.
Gameplay wise I think it isn’t perfect per se, mostly just due to problems that come with defend maps. However, having competent npc allies is really nice tho, and it feels like every ally can actually pull their weight on this map, since all of the available units have strong enough bases to contribute, even Heather.
All in all, its a great and very memorable chapter for a reason imo. Not to mention the banger that plays in the background of this map.
One huge underappreciated aspect of NPCs is how much Bonus Experience they give with every Physic heal and with every kill. I love challenging myself to let them earn as much B.Exp. for me as possible!
Wait, what do you mean give BEXP? Is this some hidden feature I was never aware of?
EXP that would’ve been gained by allied NPCs becomes bonus exp for the player. After the first playthrough, you can enable bonus exp display in options to see more details.